The cool thing about spending the day with a private whitewater clinic is getting to know the people. I had a great day on the river with Chase and Paul yesterday. This is my second parent/child trip this year, and as a parent myself, I kept thinking what a special way to spend a day with each other. Chase’s mom and younger brother also got some quality time going to Santa’s Village while the older boys were out ripping around the E-town Rips on the Androscoggin River. It was one of my better clinics as both of these guys had spent a lot of time outside, hiking and flatwater paddling, and their level of fitness and enthusiasm made for a rapid progression through the basics. Chase was grinning ear to ear after running down through the Pancake Wave and the Class II waves at the finish. On our second and third runs we caught several of the harder eddies, and Chase took the lead for most of the afternoon, even hustling us out of the eddies. Paul and I had a nice visit and I learned more about snowmobiles and some of the amazing trails we have in the Northeast and Canada.
A day spent doing something memorable, like running his first Class II rapid in kayaks with his Dad, will be a great memory for Chase. I was glad I could teach them the skills to do it safely, and to be a part of it. Thanks guys! Keep paddling and I look forward to seeing you on the river! -Darron
Our 1/2 day guided river trips start in Shelburne, NH and finish in Gilead, ME on the Androscoggin River. A shuttle is required for this point-to-point adventure and I was asked to shuttle Sue’s paddling trip. The morning was a little cool and clear-perfect for paddling. After getting our guests fit to their life jackets and boats we were off. I followed behind in the other vehicle and was anxious to get a few photos as they launched the kayaks on such a beautiful day.
Looking downstream on the Androscoggin River
We arrived at the put-in and I helped Sue unload the four kayaks, three solos and one tandem. Sue gave some instruction on how to adjust the seats and footrests for the family to do while we shuttled the van and trailer to the take-out in Gilead.
Upon our return I took a group photo and listened while Sue provided some more instruction.
She explained what to do if you flip your kayak and gave a demonstration while telling them it rarely happens. Next, Sue handed out paddles and gave the option to “feather” the paddle, adjusting it so that both blades are not lined up and twisting the paddle on every stroke. This way there is less surface area and the blade out of the water can cut through the air easier.
Sue helped everyone get their boats in the river and held them steady. She gave a slight push back into the small eddy, a calm spot where the water is not moving as fast so they could take off together behind Sue. After Sue hopped in her boat she asked them to follow her and avoid the ripples-they give indication the water is shallow.
They were off on a wonderful trip, leaving me wishing I was with them.
Several times each summer our GGT paddling staff heads over to Maine to assist the MASR staff and volunteers – here’s Darron’s take on yesterday’s efforts:
Sue and I headed out to Range Pond in Maine to join the Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation folks for some accessible paddling for persons with disabilities, and their stellar staff and volunteers. We saw a mature bald eagle, two fledglings in the nest, a loon and juvenile loon, painted turtles, cedar waxwings, and Sue gets birdwatcher award of the day for spotting what she is very confident is a Blackburnian Warbler – vivid orange splashing about in the trees.
The folks did really well, including some first timers. The weather held and was beautiful when we left to make it back for the Salomon Trail Running Series awards and potluck wrapup.